Recreational camera maker GoPro Inc announced a notable earnings miss for the fourth quarter, and the stock is getting pummeled in pre-market trading Thursday, losing around a quarter of its market value.
The over-hyped tech firm announced it will only post revenue of $435 million for the fourth quarter of 2015, undershooting consensus analyst projections of revenue of $508 million by around 14%. The firm blamed “lower than anticipated sales of its capture devices due to slower than expected sell through at retailers,” in a statement released late Wednesday. GoPro management also stunned investors and analysts by announcing a 7% in its workforce of over 1,500 employees effective immediately.
Also of note, Zander Lurie, who was chief of GoPro’s entertainment division, announced on Wednesday he was leaving become CEO of internet research firm SurveyMonkey.
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GoPro shares were halted after hours after the bad news. That said, the stock was already down more than 70% over the last 12 months to close at $14.61 on Wednesday. Shares of the on-the-go camera manufacturer opened down 24% at $11.09 in after-hours trading late Wednesday.
GoPro tanks as bubble bursts
GoPro was a Wall Street darling both before and after its IPO. The stock shot up from the $24-a-share IPO offering price to a mind-boggling $94 a share within a few months of its June 2014 stock offering.
When you do the math, in January of 2015 investors were paying $65 for every $1 in the firm’s trailing earnings, which wss three times higher than the valuation of the market at the time. It boiled down to the public betting that GoPro’s rapid growth could be maintained and the firm developing a profitable business based on video captured on the cameras.
The unfortunate reality for investors is that the camera maker’s growth rate has been slowing down and may even turn negative soon. In terms of recent financial data, revenue were 43% in the third quarter, down from 72% growth in the second quarter and 54% in the first quarter, according to S&P Capital IQ. With revenue for the fourth quarter at $435 million, that represents a decrease of 32% from 4Q 2014. Of note, investors today are only paying $12 for every $1 in earnings, a slight discount to the current multiple of the S&P.
Dr. Brad Cornell states:
For all the hand wringing in this blog about the lack of barriers to entry and GoPro being overpriced, I made a mistake. After GoPro melted down for $90 to less than $30, I felt it was approaching fair value. It looks like I was mistaken. The price today is down to about $12. This just underscores the point that technology markets are highly competitive and making consistently positive risk adjusted returns is no easy task. GoPro, once a “market disrupter,” is now just another camera maker.